The Underground Librarian

What cats do before meeting curiosity sellers….

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    • Education II May 20, 2016
      Learn to silence yourself you young twit. Quiet down till you hold the wisdom in your bones Fused and tinged with spit. Bite into that right elbow for God’s sakes, just learn the wisdom that quiet does not forsake. Let the wealthy rail on in ignorance. It tends to young money and its seeming insulation. […]
      Tespid
    • Education May 20, 2016
      Sedition and the Wind When the birds have gone And the leaves mask the trees’ limbs Sunlit gone until dawn Think and speak of other years. Domestics and familiars to each Young and old ear. Say not spot on of the bell, Lest ye and I rest in hell. ~W.H.Tespid ERTFiled under: Education Tagged: Poetry, […]
      Tespid
    • Cooking: As requested May 19, 2016
      W.H. 19 Wednesday        May 11, 2016      7:42 p.m.   Rice 1 cup Rice (rinsed and scrubbed) 2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil Lightly brown the rice in the oil. – add 2.5 cup of water – Boil for 5 minutes the reduce to low-medium heat – cook until most of the water is absorbed – cover and […]
      Tespid
    • Writing May 17, 2016
      >16< Blood debts in Familial Guise From my first few steps across the kitchen floor, the three of us had no separation.  Even through the years that followed, others could not help but group our likenesses.  I am older now; one of us passed on through tears, and her daughter is living longer than she […]
      Tespid
    • Cooking:As requested (Addendum) May 10, 2016
      Asian vinaigrette 2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil 1 teaspoon Lingham’s hot sauce (Made purely from chilis and cane sugar) 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon of Fish Sauce Option:1/8 cup of water   Blend with a few turns of the whisk and enjoy on your favorite salad.   Pumpkin Fry Bread […]
      Tespid
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Education II

Posted by Tespid on May 20, 2016

Learn to silence yourself you young twit.

Quiet down till you hold the wisdom in your bones

Fused and tinged with spit. Bite into that right elbow for God’s sakes, just learn the wisdom that quiet does not forsake. Let the wealthy rail on in ignorance. It tends to young money and its seeming insulation. Hold the wisdom to your generation two down from your waist. Let blood sing and your life not be called a waist, but that too is a secret for another generation down with knowledge of hell not put to waist.

~W.H. Tespid ERT

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Education

Posted by Tespid on May 20, 2016

Sedition and the Wind

When the birds have gone

And the leaves mask the trees’ limbs

Sunlit gone until dawn

Think and speak of other years.

Domestics and familiars to each

Young and old ear.

Say not spot on of the bell,

Lest ye and I rest in hell.

~W.H.Tespid ERT

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Cooking: As requested

Posted by Tespid on May 19, 2016

W.H. 19

Wednesday        May 11, 2016      7:42 p.m.

 

Rice

1 cup Rice (rinsed and scrubbed)

2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil

Lightly brown the rice in the oil. – add 2.5 cup of water – Boil for 5 minutes the reduce to low-medium heat – cook until most of the water is absorbed – cover and turn off the heat.

 

Chicken Gravy

3 cups of water

1 large fried chicken breast (deboned and chopped fine)

1 medium onion (shredded on a grater)

1 medium poblano pepper (shredded fine across a grater)

1 large garlic clove chopped fine

½ teaspoon chicken bouillion

Heat to boil all of the ingredients for 10 minutes. –  Add 1.5 tablespoons of flour, ¼ cup of water, and ¼ cup of the broth blended in a pyrex cup. – Add the flour mixture into the pan. Stir. Thicken. Leave the gravy under seasoned to taste the subtle flavors. Allow the guest to add salt and pepper during serving.

 

Black Beans

1 cup of black beans (pick over for sand, dirt, and stones)

6 pork neck bones

1 large onion chopped

1 large poblano pepper

4 large garlic cloves

6 cups of water

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place all of the ingredients in the base of the pressure cooker. Cook with 15 pounds of pressure for 30-40 minutes. Let the bean sit to marinate over night. The next day debone the pork neck bones. Add the meat back into the beans. Reheat with 1 teaspoon of cumin, 8 shredded fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves, ½ teaspoon of salt. Lightly boil for 15 minutes.

Presentation: Take one cup of rice and blend with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of garlic olive oil, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of chopped green onions. Pair with ½-1 cup of beans.

 

Peach Pie for Two

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

 

Crust (Source: Amish Never Fail Pie Crust)

1 cup of flour

¼ +1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of shortening (I’ve been using coconut oil or peanut oil)

-Blend in a bowl – Make a well in the center

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ egg

2 Tablespoon of ice water

Pour in the well and mix until the dough gathers in the center. – Roll out dough to a rough circle. – place on a cookie sheet.

Filing

2 peaches cut into 16 sections a piece

½ teaspoon of powdered ginger

¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

¼ +1/8 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of cornstarch

1-2 Tablespoons of water

Make well in a bowl then pile in the center of the crust. Using more ice water fold the dough over toward the center and secure each side with a brush of ice water before sealing the corner. Do this all the way around the dough. Leave the center open and prick with a fork several times around the pie.

If desired, brush the dough with egg whites. Bake for 30 minutes.

 

Eat hardy and enjoy.

YF,

Pastied Pastry Cook

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Writing

Posted by Tespid on May 17, 2016

>16<

Blood debts in Familial Guise

From my first few steps across the kitchen floor, the three of us had no separation.  Even through the years that followed, others could not help but group our likenesses.  I am older now; one of us passed on through tears, and her daughter is living longer than she did. I am the last, it seems, until I bear child and God only knows when that time will be.

I remember when young, all the banter of our similarities in countenance and dress. The comparison was so overwhelming that I lost my balance and identity those early years.  As I fell down, I grieved for not having my own distinctions and joys to celebrate myself.  What I remember of the end of my independent will is happiness wandering about Grandad’s house while playing the social butterfly to family friends. After forgetting my obligations to act “the little host”, I chose to play hide and seek alone in the back hallway. Remembering home base towered behind the kitchen table; I rounded the closet wall, dashed into the dining room, and landed at the feet of my mother and grandmother. Side by side, they leaned over gazing into my face. In the two, looking as one, I saw the years place themselves side by side.

Similarities became more profound as I grew older. Through high school, I looked at photographs from old albums. I stared at mom, Granma, and me from different joys and family passions. It took years well after college, but I finally saw the wells beneath eyes and curves of hips that would form into what I would look like come age thirty, forty, and eventually fifty-something.

I must tell you, some curves came from my father’s mother. Every time I saw her, once every five to ten years, the curve was her insistence that I looked like her aunt and sister.  The cheekbones were telling. The first time I remember grandmother pinching my cheek and creating a curve with of her palm to bounce beneath the short curls of my hair. That afternoon she claimed me into that side of the family.  That defense of a blood claim became the glue that kept her close in my mind even when the physical distance of family became reality. This was long after my mother’s divorce from my biological father. Truly, when mom and dad where done, someone may have symbolically offered me into the cracks of the judicial system. However, the chill of a filing, divorce does not end the heat of blood relations; it just means a regular switch-up come Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It meant I might forget who I am in the milieu. It may mean some topics are silent until long after their divorce or after resolving struggles well into my sixtieth year. Still, know my father’s family speaks my name aloud and claim me as their own. This claiming is as comfortable to my soul as Saturday night homily.

Thanks to grandmother, I know that I did not hatch from an egg. I also know that I am not an orphan. Even the small absurdities and fears from pre-pubescent childhood hold weight and shape. Conquering my lingering fears from then is worthy of a knight’s tale to begin. Still, carving swords and minding the poor calls for a bravery that I just cannot sense in my bones just yet.

II.

What I know now is that belonging comes from blood. Even though DNA is the determination in the science of it all, it cannot be the whole reason behind building our clans around foreign fires. Blood sings of itself in every droplet. Family spirits and distant ancestors dwell there as well. Blood sins make us all libel to an older word and sound of guidance.  For now, knowing blood means not just having my grandfather’s button nose, my father’s hair, or my mother’s gait that shows me I have a place at a larger table. That hum I hear with every cut and bruise calls me to sit and listen to memory.

A problem for me is that mom does not hear it. I wonder if some days I depend too much on her judgment. How do I know? Her reactions upon being questioning for an explanation resonate deep. What I have received is a strange look out of the corner of her eyes. Another issue to consider is that her mother is not alive to ask. As for other relatives, I am staid in the fact that if I have to explain and defend blood song then they are truly without a clue. To correct that failing, I will practice by explaining to you.

A former mentor and I sat on the floor of the living room at her temporary residence.  Conversation was born mostly from her mouth and with every turn of phrase, I was learning new concepts.  After lunch, the casting sunlight in the living room shifted past artwork in reflecting glass and she said looking directly in my face, that blood rings out in sound not just for tonality, but musically.  If the telling starts there, then you know the aroma of blood tells a story of its own.  The story is so distinct that it tells nuances that genealogist could never flesh out with as much accuracy. Mentor said there are those that read blood for histories, heritage, strength, and temperament. Understanding her, she intimated that if we listen with intent and respect we can hear clearly, what graveyards only whisper. However my curiosities, she did not prick my finger, but looked into my flushed face to tell me who my people were and from whence they travelled. After listening intently, I, over 2,000 miles away from my heritage home, became dumbfounded. Doubt faded and I finally conceded to open my ears to let every word fall on my head and heart. Humming is all I remember hearing as I left the house that late afternoon. All the whispers about “the store” doubting mentor’s talent and integrity quickly left my mind.  The time for defending her was over.  Now I knew that her reserve and distance from me in public heeded swells of emotion, knowledge, and wisdom that could only be shared in quiet seclusion.  There was no need of a proving ground or repeated challenges; she moved within her power and no amount of reason could deny that.

As for blood, every drop is important.

Since mentor, I know it is nothing that I can waste.

In my mouth now, are faint tastes of salt.

III.

Jehovah’s witnesses forbid blood transfusions. Mormons may speak of blood sin, blood debt, and blood poisonings and for me they are all too elusive to expand upon.  I thought I read once that the spirit in the blood is unique to us all; it is cannot spilled on the ground or be left for waste. I remained in fear during my youth about having to die because I would have to refuse a blood transfusion. Eventually I took my confusion to task and walked away from that faith out of practicality and survival. Up to the point of leaving, the fear had swelled in my bone. Fleeting visions from memory say I came to hate my blood shortly after the call to womanhood. To me, menses was my enemy. It was not until college where I became determined to subdue the pain, frustration, and burgeoning self-hatred for being female.

The doctor came back into the waiting room to talk to me. The Pap smear was painful and I was not very receptive to anything she had to say. I wanted out- out of the room, out of the office, out of this unsaid contract of being female. Sitting across from the doctor, I hunched over in the chair and began to wring my fingers around my wrists. It was one last attempt for help: so I answered her questions and waited to ask my own. The opening came and I asked her about blood.  I wanted so badly to know why the smell was so bad.  I wanted to know why there was so much blood some nights. Lastly, I cried, “why, oh why won’t the pain leave?” I finally told her that I could not stand the sight of my blood and she backed off. The doctor-patient conversation suddenly ended.  The room turned cold and I drew back into the chair and became quiet. After that, the memory ends.

Years went by before I understood the blessing of blood flow. Cleansing, tuning senses, and childbirth, are but a few of the many accomplishments of womanhood.  In that growth, I carry on that visage of mother, Grandma, and me.  If I ever bear, I know my current and distant histories will read in the blood.  My child will know the reasons for self-rejection and have counseling to meet the rigor of life passages.  I can say with honesty and won reserve that the terrors of youth and their shadows end at the acceptance of a physical body, a dedication to preserve life, and living a bloodline commensurate with its wisdom.

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

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Cooking:As requested (Addendum)

Posted by Tespid on May 10, 2016

Asian vinaigrette

2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

1 teaspoon Lingham’s hot sauce (Made purely from chilis and cane sugar)

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon of Fish Sauce

Option:1/8 cup of water

 

Blend with a few turns of the whisk and enjoy on your favorite salad.

 

Pumpkin Fry Bread

1 cup of flour

1/2 cup pumpkin

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup of water

2 cups of frying oil

Place all of the pumpkin, ginger, and dry ingredients into a nonreactive bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the vinegar and water. With a few good turns of a spatula mix the wet with the dry until just blended.Note: Add a little more water if necessary to blend ingredients. Let the dough sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Heat the oil over a medium flame. Knead gently on a floured surface. Roll thin to 1/4 inch. Cut out circles with a biscuit cutter then press out thinner with your hands. Poke a small hole through the middle and gentle place in the hot oil. Fry till golden brown on each side.

Copyright N.A. Jones 2016 All Rights Reserved

 

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Pa. Journals et alia

Posted by Tespid on May 8, 2016

Marietta man’s drug arrest linked to ‘major’ meth-dealing operation …

lancasteronline.com/…meth…/article_cc8a70be-e9f3-11e5-ab77-5f…
LNP Media Group

Mar 14, 2016 – Officials say they’ve cut off a “major artery” of methamphetamine supply to Lancaster County after arresting a Marietta man with ties to a …

Mexican Cartel is the source for ‘Unprecedented’ Meth Operation at …

fox43.com/…/mexican-cartel-is-the-source-for-unprecedented-meth-operation…
WPMT

Mar 14, 2016 – Mexican Cartel is the source for ‘Unprecedented’ Meth Operation at Marietta Home … Lancaster County Drug Task Force said that the amount of meth is uncommon for Lancaster County. … 2005 S. Queen St. York, PA 17403

WGAL

Jan 16, 2014 – SADSBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa. —State police say they have busted a meth lab operation in Lancaster County and it is connected to another bust …

Marietta man headed to trial for ‘unprecedented’ meth bust – ABC27.com

abc27.com/…/marietta-man-headed-to-trial-for-unprecedented-meth-bust…
WHTM‑TV

Mar 14, 2016 – MARIETTA, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lancaster County man is headed to trial on charges he was running a major methamphetamine-dealing operation …

 

DA: Mexican cartel source of meth operation in Lancaster Co. | WHP

local21news.com/…/da-mexican-cartel-source-of-meth-operation-in-lanc
WHP‑TV 21

Mar 14, 2016 – Investigators in Lancaster County say a Mexican cartel is the source for what the District Attorney’s Office is calling an unprecedented meth bust in one county community.According to the … MARIETTA, Pa. — Investigators in …

Fugitive drug lord ‘El Chapo’ injured while on the run

FOX43.comOct 17, 2015
Guzman broke out of prison through an underground tunnel in July, and has been on the run since then. In a statement Friday, officials said …

NASCAR driver busted in largest tobacco-smuggling ring in North

FOX43.comMar 31, 2016
As part of the investigation, authorities seized more than 1,800 pounds of cocaine, 46 pounds of methamphetamine and 35 pounds of cannabis …

Parents be warned: young teen caught with drugs disguised as candy

WGAL LancasterApr 7, 2016
Parents shocked after methamphetamine disguised as candy was found at a middle school. But what does it look like?

Minion-shaped ecstasy pills found in children’s drawing kit

WGAL LancasterFeb 23, 2016
Chilean authorities also announced a bust in which three colorful backpacks were used to transport a pound of methamphetamine in a false …

How Not to Die of Botulism

The AtlanticDec 3, 2013
After tanking up on “pruno,” a bootleg prison wine, eight maximum-security inmates at the Utah State prison in Salt Lake County tried to shake …

Posted in How to be a Perp, Pennsylvania | Comments Off on Pa. Journals et alia

Cooking: Assignment (Addendum)

Posted by Tespid on May 3, 2016

This was a three part challenge. I will be working on the last part for the remainder of this week. The challenge was fry bread and I took up the whisk without sourcing Native American cooking. Still, I did have inspiration from an Amish “No fail” pie crust recipe.

For now I have not put a dent into the flour jar just yet. From me to you, good eats follow:

Fry Bread

1-cup flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

½-teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

¼ cup granulated sugar

1/8 cup coconut oil

¼ cup almond milk

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons ice water

2 egg whites beaten stiff

1-2 cups peanut oil for deep-frying

 

Syrup

(Makes two servings)

1 cup filtered water

½ cup granulated sugar

½-Tablespoon orange zest

2” cube of fresh ginger sliced into thin chips

4 gratings of black pepper

1-teaspoon whole cloves

¼-teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place ingredients for the syrup into one pan. Boil on low temperature until the liquid turns dark brown. Strain out the spices and return to the pot to thicken on low boil. When the syrup begins to thicken turn off the heat. Thin out with a tablespoon or two of water or fruit juice. Set side, but keep warm.

Heat the peanut oil in a heavy pot. Make at least a three inch well of oil. Then, for the bred, blend ½ cup of flour, baking powder, salt, egg yolks, sugar, and coconut oil. Mix to form thick dough. Thin out the dough by adding the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and water all at once. Add the remaining flour. Fold in the egg whites. Drop into the oil with a 2” ice cream scoop. Fry until golden brown on each side. Serve three to four portions with each plate. Place syrup on the side with two tablespoons of sweetened cream and ¼ of sliced peaches.

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

Addendum:

Thoughts from the middle of the night:

  1. Substitute graham flour for white flour.
  2. Press 2-3 blackberries into each portion as it fries. Do it in such a way that it is a surprise when the bread is broken open.
  3. Fold in 1/4 cup of organic rose petals with the batter as well as 2-3 drops of attar of roses.
  4. Lightly roast 1/4-1/2 cup of finely chopped pecans tossed with honey. Add to the graham flour batter before deep-frying.

It will be a long hot minute before I can try these ideas. When I do I will give you my take on the taste. Meanwhile, if you are interested, have fun with it.

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

I just finished a handful of tutorials on leavening courteousy of YouTube.com. The order of mixing ingredients needs to change. I will be starting with egg yolks, sugar, and oil. Then adding the liquids and following up with the flour. Folding in the egg yolks is last.

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Writing

Posted by Tespid on May 2, 2016

Little Red Car

“Little Red Car, go, go, go” slipped out of my mouth as I shifted into third gear. I never gave my 1990 Ford Ranger a name. Since the first month I had Little Red Car, I grew accustomed to calls of “Strawberry Shortcake” every time I slipped out of Bigtown High about fifteen miles away from here.  Before I left the store the man said my truck was no cherry, but the red color and driver still caught an eye to turn.

“Little Red Car, go, go, go,” I whispered and I left home to run errands back in Bigtown High. It was far enough away that I could not take back roads to get to my destination; so, taking the access road to the toll way was an easy option. Coming down the hill, I shifted into third and prayed for the intersection light to stay green. Blessed, I kept cruising until I noticed a companion to my right.   A black bird found the same tailwind I felt careening through the intersection. He kept pace with my Little Red Car as the speed gauge read over forty; as I increased speed, so did he, and the race was on.

Trapped in the lane with one car in front, one truck behind, and another vehicle to my left; I had no choice but to keep pace with traffic. I wanted a fair race, but even I could not resist besting the wind teamed with wings. Quickly I looked in front me and the way opened clear. I would have the crow landing before the race reached the front lawn of the industrial district. Slipping into fourth gear I made a push for fifty miles per hour just to see how fast the bird could go. Before the engine caught the gearshift, crow opened up to a cross wind that took him across the front body of the car and into the grassy median. The shock lasted a moment, but I kept driving.

A former boyfriend told me once not to worry about people driving in my blind spot. “They are not trying to hurt you. It is just that they’re comfortable in your energy field. Don’t worry.” It was the largest irritation to look to my car’s blind sides and not be able to move. With his advice, I learned to get over it. Still, I did not think that animals would be included in that group. Out of curiosity, I wonder if it is worth becoming mindful of what and whom I attract and repel.

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

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Writing

Posted by Tespid on April 24, 2016

Frankie, Sarah, Dona, and Me

  1. Ajar

Frankie, Sarah, Dona and me napped together at the dormitory.  All four of us dog piled into one bed. I tended to be on the bottom with everyone around me curling into fetal position.  Limited space meant you had to hold onto something, so hands attached to my sides and heads nestled into my chest.  One time I remember it being good hour before we woke. Frankie told me once that she always feels safe sleeping next to me.  She intimated as if the feeling was overwhelming.  I heard the same from the others and I still wonder if my heartbeat is really that loud and rhythmic.

My conclusion and encouragements are that I give good naps as well as good hugs. At least it is said so by friends, enemies, relatives, and strangers. I did not study or read to help others feel secure around me. On the contrary, it has been a matter of deciphering my needs for safe touch. Let us leave out any notion of romantic intimacies for now.  Right now, where I sit attaches itself to emotional outbursts and confusion. It is a place next to the freezer door leaning ajar against the pantry shelving.  It also means I sit at the base of a Red Oak tree waiting for the storm to subside.  Sometimes hugs then color dismantled anger and agitated loneliness that dwells at the core.  When I ask for a hug, it is because I cannot manage myself anymore. If whom I ask receives the request on gentle ears, then we both tender blessings indeed.

Knowing my mother’s skittish attitude toward hugging, I never thought she would be receptive when I, in my late twenties, began asking for physical reinforcement of care.  My family, I wanted more than anything, but I knew less of their habits reacting to implementing new traditions. One Saturday afternoon, I asked the question: Can I have a hug? She said yes. I held on to her for a moment and let up so as not to press the issue. She said, “We’re not done. In this article I read, they say to hug for at least thirty seconds to release endorphins.” I wrapped my arms beneath her shoulders and we counted together for the whole thirty seconds. I felt the changes and so did she. I have used it as a rule of thumb ever since then. I hug to release daily shackles, but only with those, I respect and trust.

  1. Last Christmas

I thought I would cry. I stood in front of my niece and nephew asking for a hug before they left for home. I always ask and they always say no. I do not know why I hope for a change. Last meeting over Christmas, I asked them the same question as they left. They hugged their grandmother at her insistence. Me however, giving them a choice may have revealed emotional ignorance on both of our parts. The occasion may seem mundane. You wonder why it matters. For me it is this: some never get to choose or manage their physical contact with peers or adults.  This is especially the case for children. At the same age I did not have the ability or knowledge that I had a right to say no, to walk way, or fight. With them, I do not press the point.  I thought that if I could slip the lesson in quietly, seamlessly, the two might learn what safe touch meant.  One point of which was having control over your own body foremost.

At the close of a holiday celebration, I got desperate. I begged for a hug even after they both said, “No.” after I asked. I was envious; everyone else got his or hers.  Then I thought playing with them on the playground equipment as the others talked would suffice my need to show them I cared. I did not, so, I begged. They finally stood with arms open wide and I carefully hugged them without smashing them into my breast. The joy? Last Christmas, they gave hugs without asking. Moving head to breast I said, “I love you very much” If in their later years they remember just that brief interaction, I will be happy.

III. The Laws of No

Saying, “No”, or, “Don’t touch me”, is not always a hateful remark. If I cannot stand to be in my skin or am in state of fearing because of flashbacks, please do not touch me. I am close to a breaking point and fear everything round me.  The slightest touch may result in me brutally accosting you. If I do not leave the room, know that your presence grounds me. Know that I am not angry, but I am in an extreme mode of self-defense.  My defensiveness has nothing to do with you.  The occasion ties itself to my environment.  I feel out of control and I cannot read the signs or signifiers of what is happening. Best be for me is rest and to know my immediate support is not leaving.

IV. Surrogates

Before I turn in, as the day and night is over for me, I find myself in a gentle embrace.  I could create some contraption of muse to wrap around my chest and behind my back. “Why,” you ask. If but for one reason no one else dwells in this inner sanctum.  Should I commit the time to create such an endearment, my long armed stuffed animals will have to be calmed, as their jealousies will swell into the dark past midnight hours. For now, their love substitutes for any caring human touch I would have. Besides that, they settle my heartbeat come waking hours while the coos of doves on holly branches row louder outside my bedroom window.

For now, I seek my own two arms and care for fingers with the diligence of tailor. I can grasp my shoulder blades now. I can imagine a tighter embrace now. I can wait for two other arms at morning wake. Shall I practice hugging with the diligence of a doctor? I will beg the prescription of one in the morning and one at night, with love’s arms making peace on the insides of windows.

 

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

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Writing: Genus Species II

Posted by Tespid on April 20, 2016

Genus Species II

If I write about men, my relationships over the years must come into question. The argument stems from the presumption that male relatives, teachers, and icons have more than influenced me.  They have left an indelible mark. As a result, my observations do not completely lay in boyfriends, lovers, and one-night stands.  So, for now, I write an analysis from memories of my stepfather.  If my relationship with men ever took root beyond a greeting, he is the disciplined reason.  He is the first man I lived with and experienced the boundaries of anger, jealousy, and ignorance. For this discussion, the tales revolve round him.

This is the man I screamed for my mother not wed. I spoke just s the Justice began the pronouncement of vows. Great auntie pulled my arm while clasping her hand shut over my mouth. “Quiet,” she insisted into my left ear. I did not cry. I sat still and sulked. The clarity of the moment had gone and I knew that marrying him would change everything. In hindsight, this change would rank in significance with my fears of menopause. For both occasions, it would be the end of life passage.

 “A woman’s body is laden with secrets only their mothers could experience first and later feel obligated to explain.”

She stood at the counter by the sink seasoning a plump fryer. As she turned, I opened the door to the oven while sniffing the air for aromas of salt and herbs. Our conversation about the mundane had not changed, so I thought.  When she commented her first marriage was for love, while the second was of convenience, I tried not to cough over the chicken, as it lay open on the stainless steel roasting pan. It was as if the curse lifted off my head.  Every bit of anger I harbored since the wedding validated itself while my stepfather gazed into the false depths of the television screen downstairs. The Steelers made the first score of the night while everything else in our house went strangely quiet.

I cannot argue against the care and cost it takes to adopt. I felt I lost my name when my father stopped calling by the time I turned six.  I cannot argue against blessings of food, shelter, clothing, and water even into my early thirties.  All of these were blessings that I am not soon able to forget. Still, where was the point of change when I became thankful from hateful? I know when it was and telling may be my undoing.

Knowing when a boy has overcome his petty jealousies and childhood obsessions, may be the growing edge of manhood.  Seeing the change in my stepfather in front of my eyes forced my guard down for several years. His cheeks softened around his facial muscles. His hard jaw released underneath his mustache. What happened? I asked him for a hug. My motivation did not come from previous conversations. Neither was it request born out of emotional manipulation. I was in dire need of support and reaching out came at cost; fifteen plus years of anger had to be released and forgotten.  I became willing to forgive my childhood anger of him replacing me in my mother’s eyes.  As his arms closed round my back, decades of frost and salt building freezing emotional temperatures finally stop from my stiffening my spine.

“I don’t hug,” said mother long go. “My mother and father never hugged. It is not that they did not love me or your uncle, it is just I never understood it as need.”  In the seventeen years they were married I never saw them hug or kiss. It was barely so on their wedding day. On the other hand, I am an emotionally driven person who appreciates physical reinforcement.  Too quickly, other’s love for me is something I too easily forget.  The thought is abstract and distant.  Hugs are demonstrative and reassuring no matter the verbal cues or reminders.  A hug also means a man is not embarrassed to claim me as a close friend in public. It means I stand by you and respect you. That spring after I came home changed the household.  I asked for a hug and the man of the house approved.

I met my stepfather before the marriage. We got along very well. He was patient, yet distracted around me. His draw was for my mother and television. So our play tended to last for a few moments. We had moved into the new house when I met his two children from his first marriage. One early evening, the thereof us stood in the hallway arguing over where we were sleeping. My egging on the situation resulted in his daughter casually whispering that he was not my dad anyway. I shut up, but the others kept screaming until my mother told us all to go to bed. Come eight o’clock that night, I laid in my bedroom alone trying to ignore the slight.  Then, I could not understand what the hidden meaning of her words meant. What I understood was that I had no father. Come morning all I could do is fight everybody.

Growing up I heard men tend to be cold emotionally. Tightly embraced hugs, kisses on the forehead, and holding hands are for little girls. I can hear, “They need that stuff. You are older than that. Toughen up.” Mom’s accusations frequently fell this way, “You are too emotional. Quit taking things so hard.” College friends saw when I ignored emotional dialogue the friendship would tax me to the core.  Even after I felt comfortable reaching out, many would walk away or laugh in my face. Men go without for the sake of being tough and hard. They yield to accumulating reputations to maintain a dominant position in their home and immediate communities. To me, hugging stepfather means he was already yielding. Over that rainy spring, his world must have been changing as quickly as my own.  That afternoon in the kitchen is one of the few points I yield about men and emotions. I have gotten to an age where I want to see that men have intrinsic worth besides providing financial support to live. There must be more to relationships then bragging about financial status and possessions. Forgive me, they must be there, but I just have not met many men who testify to being competent of emotional languages.

Lastly, I can also yield on this point; Men can redeem themselves if they choose to. In hindsight, I am relieved he gave me distance and did not reject my outreach in the end. Because of it, my heart is more forgiving of others than it used to be. One never knows what besets another. So take care to tread another’s earth lightly. I recognize fruit of the lesson. Now partaking, I can walk the ground with care and more confidence in my gait.

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

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Writing: Genus Species

Posted by Tespid on April 12, 2016

Genus Species

I am dutiful, but severely ignorant of what I do.  With that said, and before I make a grave mistake, I will predicate my explanations with an offering of forgiveness. I reached fourteen years of age before I begged God to know what it meant to be a boy. The curiosity was not for my own sake, but for another. Trying to understand boys was born for the sake that, by age seventeen, a friend told me that I caused pain and confusion in the opposite sex. As result, I never experienced numerous occasions of opportunity and growth through social interaction. To this day, I quip over being an introvert mixed with dated and backwards approaches to socializing. Wondering, why I was not included in parties or study hall banter, eventually forced a personal confrontation with my nature.  By the time I finally understood the slight, I could into prevent myself from becoming passive tempered by biting speech in college. The edge of my ailment was that I never saw how I embarrassed myself among my male peers. Being told at the end of adolescence that I was intimidating and harsh towards young men, resulted in a soul that fractured, chipped, and scattered itself in pieces over the bedroom floor.

The years after high school involved rescuing my heart by not shunning men completely. I confess that I needed to learn how to communicate without hiding my intelligence and independence. By age thirty, with enough distance in years and space from the incidence and conversation, I turned from playing blame and guilt conversations in my ears. Forgiveness began in my eyes; I learned to be attentive without interrupting with probing emotional questions. After that came understanding and eventually reaching out. Knowing what it meant to be a boy still lay heavy on my heart. I could continue to presume the mechanical aspects of intimacy, but affairs d’couer are a pinnacle of what woman emotionally evolve. Laying the arts of a whore is never place I planned to explore. Tending a boy’s wounds and conceiving man’s heart would heal me and educate me to defend others.  I never admitted to this and I will only swear under an oak tree; after experiencing woman’s solidarity, I vowed to help women. I vowed to help, but only in the stead of helping men first. An earful of men bashing lasts for many decade, but if you had a love beyond the cackling of women around a fire, you must test the source. Sometimes a woman’s ailment does not stem from pure cause. From reading Greek mythology, Athena tended to men and tested women who in their conceit, all failed. Having taken shelter in her mantle before, I have grown just as well.

I had returned to school while my brother aged through trial after trial over one hundred miles away.  Since his birth, the years between our ages yield to little reason to communicate over the past twenty years. Meanwhile, I secretly labored the guilt of physical and emotional distance thinking it was my responsibility as the elder to close the gap with phone calls and doting presences. My attentiveness failed and in one phone call, over birthday celebrations, I went back to my world. Still, I could not help but wonder what his early years were like growing up young, black, and male. Even if not making up for the heart’s distance, I had to know him for the sake of understanding males in general.  Even from early childhood, most of my friends were boys and later in years, I row closer to men. Failing in my duties as a sister might reflect on my personal relationships with men. I do not want to fail again. I do not want to lose another friend. I do not want to walk away from my brother or another. I want to learn to support instead of letting matters go. The distance that swells between men and I occupies an irrational space. More than likely, the actions born from that paranoia stems from a handful of precepts and gossip about men and boys. Though I have grown an inch or so around the waist and my head is fixated on budgeting, I formulated these beliefs about men that tower and crash in this Easter moonlight.  Maybe this is what keeps me from bonding, breeding, and believing more in a man’s intrinsic worth than in his wallet.

When mutual understanding is present and trust is not an issue, males will tell you directly what they want. No matter the subject, from my experience, the end of his conversation means a significant change in the relationship. When I was in elementary school, I knew all the kids on the street. Though I was short, leggy, and quiet, I tended to hang around the older kids learning to play their games and thrill at their interests. Notably, I was the little one in the group and the only female. Playing “King of the Hill” with Craig and John behind the backfield on the farmer’s land is an easily recalled memory. The hills we played on I understand now as possible Indian burial mounds. If I had known then, I would have behaved with more respect. Though in my heart, I feel the dead are just as happy to have visitors who play or pray without deviant intent.

Those days we played are little more precious than I can explain. The boys accepted me as their own, at least until they recognized my change. John’s fickleness started the following year in the fall back in the woods. Several of the boys decided to build tree house in the forest behind the houses. They selected the site and collected wood over late autumn. Eventually struck by winter snows and cabin fever, I ventured outside bundled in coat, scarf, gloves, and hat to hold a hammer while the boys secured the foundation and arranged the wood structure. “We need something to hold the wood. The nails are not holding,” said the fair-haired other. I volunteered to get screws and would return shortly. Trekking long through the snowdrift I arrived back home excited with news. I went downstairs to the basement with my stepfather to select screws. He gave me a small handful of long screws. Not thinking, I gripped the metal in my hand instead of tucking it away secure in my pockets. After carefully walking back down the icy street, I turned to the left, and cut between houses to get back to the site. Sinking in snow while walking up the hill, I met John and the others coming in the opposite direction. Just as I pushed my fist out toward him, handing over the screws, he started screaming. He began calling me a bitch over and over and over again as he stepped one foot at a time closer to me.  With each of his steps advancing toward me, I took a careful step backwards. When I finally understood that “bitch” was not a kind word, I dropped the screws, turned around, and ran home. I never spoke to him again. Two years later, my family moved and my confidences changed.

I learned a small handful of cautions from my experience. First, what my inner child understands is that boys become irrational with little information. They may not realize that vulnerability strikes both ways when being swayed by others. One caveat is that I never knew if gossip fueled his anger. Second, boys can trust even when altruism no longer secures the conversation. Third, boys can play with girls even when puberty rises as a question between solid friendships. Some boys learn the boundaries of respect from women and honor that space and guardianship with their young female friends. When Craig and John became friends, I nearly lost it. I was losing a playmate. When the two bonded over a common astrological sign, I knew I had to find something to bide the hours after school. I read. I made a magazine. I stopped playing with dolls. Come spring I wandered the woods and followed the creek bed to its source. Meanwhile, the “Victorious Virgos” found support in common manhood. I, on the other hand, found solitude.

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

Part II will be posted next week.

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Cooking W.H. 17

Posted by Tespid on April 10, 2016

W.H. 17

4/10/2016 Sunday

2:36 p.m.

Tomato Soup with Basil and Cornmeal Dumplings

 

1 can of tomato soup

1 can of water

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried parsley

Mix and heat through.

 

½ cup white cornmeal

½ beaten egg

1 Tablespoon corn oil

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons almond milk

While the tomato soup heats, mix the above ingredients and drop by the spoonful into 3 tablespoons of hot coconut oil. I used a one inch ice cream scoop to measure out the batter. Fry the meal until golden brown on each side.

Take a shallow bowl and place ½-1 cup of the soup in the dish. Place three dumplings in the soup. Sprinkle lightly with an Italian cheese blend or Parmesan. Serve.

Note: The above provides for the fundamentals. Feel free to make the tomato soup from scratch with or without cream. I have to make a trip to the grocer for what I would like to do. First I must find dried prawns in the Mexican aisle. Usually they are pulverized and that will make a welcome addition to the cornmeal dumplings. Lastly, I would like an ear of corn to cut down to kernels and sprinkle over the soup. A garnish of mint from the garden would complete my dish well.  Well, come the next big run to the grocer I will have everything I need. If the prawns are a hit, you’ll hear from me assuredly.

Dishes done and put away for the night,

Fluted Frog, Esq.

 

 

 

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Writing: Fleshing the Animal

Posted by Tespid on April 6, 2016

Governess III: Closing Notes

I.

I, uh, I could be proper. If it would help me find a good man, then yes, I could be proper. Well, I am, in a way, well, proper. For others to understand me, I speak common English and enunciate my consonants. Well, what I am trying to say is I could speak in hushed tones and less confidently.  Of course, if my nature intimidates the opposite sex, then yes, I could practice to be demure and coquettish. If it would help me to find a good man, then yes, I could be proper like that. Luis told me not to expect less of myself. “You’re an intelligent woman,” he said,”Don’t feign ignorance just to be liked.”  My stomach twinged causing me to rethink an eager response.  He was right. For the last eight years  I should have spoke up instead of silencing my needs, but what can a fifty some year old girl do?  How do I coax the assertiveness out of accused aggression? I am paranoid of boys listening to the giggle and jiggle of a female without turning a clear eye to the heart.  My problem is reliving eighth grade social protocol and I shrink below four foot eight crying in my big girl panties.  I needed to quit courting thoughts of boys and seek the hearts and minds of men.  Come spring I muse that boys fall in love while men want you to cook and clean. Behaving as a proper girl means that I cater to the sensibilities of both boys and men. For the aching youth in my bones I hope to marry a man that still loves to play.

Dear Governess McCormick, I am lost in play. For theirs and my sake, I flirt and beg for whimsy in light-hearted banter.  Leaving men to take the lead, I feel taking initiative would have me alone and marked by another name of aggression. The toll, after practicing perpetual silencing, is that I can see no sunrise on the burden I bear.  I could be proper and do right by pursuing my own goals. I could be proper and come inside before the street lights come on. I could stand on the front porch bracing my fingers against my skull to pull the plastic combs setting up the length in my hair.  Luis says to me, “Never set the length free.  A woman at your age and demise, a set apart your appearance must be. Respect yourself in your appearance in the least.” Love’s constancy is where I wait to be. Love’s respect I have no clue as what it is to be.

I could be proper by making at least one meal for mother and me to share everyday behind locked doors and pulled shades.  I need not know what goes on out in the street. Still I venture out of these musty four walls and all my virginal doubts become a fore gone conclusion. I could be proper and start practicing a firm and resounding “No.” Turning my head is also a start as well as walking away, but flirting is addictive. Shortly I will stand at the gateway, peering how far the chasm drops from the doorway. I like to play. I like to play too much.

Then again, I could be vulgar. I could answer to my name bellowed out across the street. These days they follow an intonation with a curt calling of “fast bitch, cum here.” I could be vulgar by the last lights of sundown, when men approach me underneath lamplight. They have come to know my mouth as a gutter speak street hooker, since my thighs and hocks don’t amuse anyone any more.  I could let it all go by the front room’s windows feigning Amsterdam’s dead end streets best. Wait! You’ve gotta understand my curiosity sways that way even knowing my intellect prefers to amuse itself with pantomime and monologue crowded street theater.

I started this wrong and I’ve lost resources to make the difference. Is honorable not a word I can claim? The pain, Governess, it doubles me over again.

II.

Three weeks have passed and he still does not touch me.  Despite the fact that I preferred to remain loyal, the accusations were brutal.  I refuse to lower my eyes and hands to grope at his other women- even in the privacy of his back room. Desperation never belts below my gut that way. The pain is in hearing his fantasies are more important than anything I ever had to offer. For now, he calls me a “holy mess in priest’s pinafore”. I gave up for this. I gave up too damn much.

The inside of a church is foreign to me. It has been many an Easter Sunday, but I still find every reason to wail and tear on a full moon. Sunday afternoon I close the window blinds and then shift my underwear down around my ankles. Taking the plastic bottle in hand, I tipped it over grazing my fingertips with olive oil. Slipping my right hand beneath a thick ripple of weight, I drew a cross over my uterus and ovaries. Quietly I beg Christ for perseverance even in the darkest of morning hours. Eleven years after the mark, I sit in the parlor digging in a pile of old music granddad could not take where he went. The window is open and the neighbor’s don’t complain when I hit the wrong key on the piano. Calm ensues those afternoons that come without canvassing police officers or impregnated pauses between staccato timed gunshots.

I found my peace; which is all I really wanted. My journey helped me learn that peace does not dwell between my legs or in other’s bedrooms. Peace does not wait in line to enter Gucci on Stemmons for a peek at the season’s new line. Not to forget the clothes are never in my size, but I purchase something, anything for a show of influence, means, and demeanor.  I never could find peace in men’s impatience. The men I know tend to demand and not to request. Every love, he hammered me to lower my guard relinquishing control over my words and body. Whether it felt good or not was never the question that mattered.

Dear, kind governess, forgive me. I waited then, now I ‘m so old I have no time to be leisurely in taking action for my personal welfare. I no longer need your services.  For now, I choose to take on a different yoke. Starting first, I do not blame my parents for not being wealthy, second, for never sending me to finishing school, and third, for assuming there is no worth in these limbs.  I am impatient and unforgiving of myself these days.  For that, I apologize and weep in quiet rooms with no music playing.  I thought I needed a caring woman to mentor me as I choose the problems that would destroy me. I once refused the consequences of my actions by feigning ignorance and stupidity. Finally, for one moment in time, I grew up to realizing that I do not have to perpetuate this madness and jealousy.  I am trying to move on. Where I go, I care not to mention. These days, the more I write, the more I breed solitude, assurance, and foundation in my limbs.  I am no longer afraid to be a woman like the archetypes I used to celebrate. Ancestry, class, and intelligence included, I recognize that I have a treasure trove of resources and no regrets.

Dear Governess McCormick, I am able.  I find worth without the others now. I do not reject men despite my suspect of their ways. I will have to find another way than run hardened with attraction and lust. Maybe this year spring affects us all.

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

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Tipjar Southwest

Posted by Tespid on April 2, 2016

Pangeli? Pantelly? Forgive me. I tried to commit the name to memory and I have almost lost it completely. The long and short of it is they are a domestic terrorist group from what I heard. The frequent between Texas and Oklahoma and may dwell in both. I do not know how reliable this information is, by I am taking a guess it holds a bit of weight. Marijuana trafficking was mentioned before and after the name.

Takin’ a chance on my ears,

W.H. Tespid

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Writing II: Fleshing the Animal

Posted by Tespid on March 31, 2016

Governess II

Governess McCormick,

Please forgive my tone at this late hour. My lover has returned to a bedside that will never be mine. Though the real sorrow is, my tea has grown cold after souring by salty tears.  I have learned to drink from foreign wells and this tea equally educates my trust. I made the tisane from water I should know as safe, but Mexican wells make me shake.  The other chance is taking tea alone or with milk and brewed mix.  He told me he was leaving. I choose to ignore the words because of heat still swelling between my thighs. For my own heart, I choose not to test his taste with tears again. With that said, I assume you know me well enough and the matters that make my fingers grip entwined in their lacing to wring around palms with perspiration gathering in heaves only then to fall.

I am lost in intimacies and blame my mother for it all, but sometimes, sometimes, I am willing to acknowledge my part.  The final decision is mine after all. Still, I cling to ethics, morals, and personal practices to make the woman’s mind out of me.  For that, I know, before it begins, I am shaken and defeated.  Blame has me issuing challenges at my first teacher as she guards the door. Late hours pass waiting for winds to grace other porches and the sun to surmount the horizon over the First State Bank Memorial.  Why you wonder? Because out there, on the other side of this door, they do not let go. The change starts at sundown and does not let go.  After he left, I thought I could not let go.  From what she says, I am this old and in need of guardianship and mentoring again.  I have gained the age of freedom and now I need to be caged. I went to sit on the front porch at four. Foregoing dinner caused a curt mention from stiff lips to come in at sundown. I thought the night would be welcoming so I chose to stay my post a while longer. Without notice, the winds shifted and now I live regret. One would think I am out of consideration to be one of the pedophiles that roam the night trying to curry favor with the homeless.  The taunts and threats left me with a dry mouth. I live at the edge of civilization. Six miles from the main post office, ten minutes from city hall, and these days, I see open prairie in either direction.

To me guardianship and mentoring lay in self-defense. When he first touched me, I chose not to scream.  Instead, my shoulders grew soft and desperation silenced my voice.  His right hand rose to my lost curls, smoothing them back across the head.  I waited head lowered and did as he told. “Please, just make this easy for me,” I barely caught the whisper as I turned my head. Though tempted to behave in the manner of a lady’s rejection,   I acted out a whore’s acceptance. Since then I have laid the bed corners a slut and cried desperation in low pitches before an act of solitude was committed between four walls covered in notes for the new millennium and this a New Year’s celebration.  Understanding that he used me for a sex act, made a chill embed bone deep. Remembering that touch on my shoulder broke a long decade of frost and ice cushioning my lungs.  It meant skin chills and blood ices being two different realms I care not to explore any deeper.  Without his acquiesce, I would never know what grief there is in waiting, feigning patience, and posturing in chair of a motionless dusty room.

I know I have gone too far by blaming a whore for having me born. Acknowledging curse after curse befalling bastards, you can never leave your place because one does not exist. Illegitimacy is a curved mark of no entitlement. You get what you get and make it work on foot, on beds, or in the back of cars. I am grave in the fact that I have no father. If so, I would have seen your face much sooner than now Governess McCormick. I wish myself “Daddy’s Little Girl” with all the entitlements. How could my father deny me someone like you? I think not and therefore I continue to write.

Every time I get close, every time the stars align, I forgive myself of former grieving.  Every time I remember Michael while I muse underneath the worn holes in the sheets and tatters of cheap blankets laid between a fitted sheet and mother’s fall blessing before the storm, I see a black man corralling us all into lines. The first day I notice the young man, I feel a twinge in my stomach signifying that this assuredly his last day. From the lines of confused kindergarteners, he chooses a bride and a groom. He selects new students to marry every day, but me he designates as Reverend for each ceremony. Preparations of paper flower bouquets and witnesses with pinned crepe paper boutonnières.  I forgo a collar as he tells me my responsibilities. I memorize his litany and I abide by the betrothed. Come day three of ceremonies, he seems to know my longings and alienation. I hold back tears as he promises Michael to me to occur tomorrow afternoon. Come Thursday two o’clock in the afternoon Michael is nowhere in the library. We all wait as the young black man looks among confused faces. At age seven, my heart breaks without a tear. He dismisses us back to our corners in the play area. Come Friday not only is Michael gone, but also is the aide. Teacher, guardian, mentor for the moment, disappears without word or sign.

I aged to about thirty-six when I realized those marriages where binding in my head. Mother told me once that in movies, especially the black and white ones from the 1930’s, they had to block the ceremonies with other sounds as the spoken marriage was binding under the law. Back then, she told, no law existed specifying who could marry couples.  Because of that, even mock marriages are legally binding. In my head, the ceremonies were real despite my age and ignorance. Come age thirty-six, I played the notion out and prayed those I bound could find love and marriage without influence from a childhood binding I laid in their heads.

I prayed, I pray, I am praying, this curse not to follow me. Jilted at the altar, I refocused to hold fast to God and a realization of grace. I am but human. The ways of holy, I cannot fathom, for I am far from faithful.  Strange, even bastards gather into eternal arms. So I hear. Am I so far gone from the law that I cannot claim anything unto it?

Your faithful pupil,

Eva

©N.A. Jones      2016       All Rights Reserved

 

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